Peace & Justice Studies: A Cross-Disciplinary Minor 

"Justice in Action" 

Director: Erin Robinson, PhD, 
Sociology (OM 014,
robinso5@canisius.edu)

The minor in Peace and Justice Studies is intended to further the mission of the College by preparing students for their role as leaders in the local and global community. Students pursuing this track of the Minor will develop skills, knowledge, and perspective to pursue “Justice in Action.” The program’s focus is on the religious, social science, and humanities perspectives needed to address peace and justice topics.

Student Requirements: This minor requires that students complete 6 courses, including foundation courses, electives, and a capstone course.

Two (2) Foundation Courses
______ SOC 273: Social Movements and Social Change
______ RST 340 Moral Issues Today or RST 220 Introduction to Eastern Religions

NOTE: It is recommended that these two foundational courses be taken towards the beginning of a student’s academic career; however, these courses are not intended to serve as prerequisites for the rest of the program.

Three (3) Elective Courses: Students will choose one (1) course from each column.
Students must choose a methods course if one is not required by their major department. If students choose an additional religious studies course, they must choose a course from a perspective different from the selection in the foundation course, i.e.: Elective should be focused on a non-Christian perspective if they choose RST 340 Moral Issues Today, and vice versa. It is recommended that students take a modern foreign language.

Skills Local Global
ANT 351 Qualitative Research Methods ECO 333 Economics of Public Issues ANT 122 Sociocultural Anthropology
COM 201 Oral Communication HIS 373 Urban Portraits PSC 344 International Law and Human Rights
COM 204 Interpersonal Communication PSC 273 State and Local Politics PSC 359 International Political Economy
COM 302 Small Group Communication SOC 111 Contemporary Social Problems RST 341 Catholic Social Thought
ECO 311Regional Economics and GIS SOC 340 Sociology of the City RST 342 Theological Ethics and Environmental Justice
PSY 329 Leadership and Motivation URS 201 Planning for Urban Revitalization RST 362 Fundamentalism
SOC 342 Research Methods URS/HIS 382 New York State History RST 363 Women, Gender and Religion


Capstone Course:
A senior level capstone course will be required of all students. This seminar-style course will be taught by faculty involved in the program and will address all three aspects of Ignatian Pedagogy: experience, reflection, and action.

The requirement for the Capstone Course will be a Capstone Immersion Experience.  It will require students to:

  • Collectively identify a Peace and Justice issue in the local or global community
  • Through a group initiative, develop an action plan to assist the organization and community in its efforts to resolve the issue
  • All students will be working with the same organization, as this will be a team approach to their service experience. Students will spend the majority of their course time in the field gaining direct experience with the community. Other course time will be devoted to group discussion and reflection with appropriate academic readings.

Maintaining an Electronic Portfolio:
In the majority of courses completed for this program, students will be required to do a course assignment on an issue of peace and justice in today’s world. Through the ANGEL portfolio tool, students will maintain a multi-year electronic portfolio of these assignments to enhance their learning. Students should maintain a collection of 7-10 assignments that reflect their progress in the program.